"I admit that I was quite stressed"

Here are Árdís Lára Gísladóttir and Ásta Katrín Helgadóttir coming …

Here are Árdís Lára Gísladóttir and Ásta Katrín Helgadóttir coming first to the finishing line in the Hyrox World Cup in Nice. Photo/Hyrox World Champoinships

Árdís Lára Gísladóttir and Ásta Katrín Helgadóttir, from Suðurnes exceeded everyone’s expectations when they became world champions in a new sport called Hyrox , the first competition was held in Germany in 2017. The competition now was held in Nice in southern France, and the sport is getting hugely popular all over the world. In Hyrox, the participants take on eight training tasks and run a kilometre between each task.

Gísladóttir and Helgadóttir won in the pair competition in the age group 60-69 years old, but they won 11 pairs that were registered and broke their own world record in the process, which is a huge success.

They have been training-mates since 2008 and say that the feeling of coming first to the finish line was completely unforgettable. Gísladóttir has participated in running competitions many times and Helgadóttir competed in free-style sports in her younger years. They are determined that a strong background in running and experience from previous competitions has been a factor in their success.

“We prepare[ed] well. We practice[ed] each day together and we know each other extremely well. We learned from our previous experiences how to best set up the competition and how to share our challenges in the most practical way, we knew what we could do,” Helgadóttir says.

Árdís Lára Gísla­dótt­ir and Ásta Katrín Helga­dótt­ir are proud after …

Árdís Lára Gísla­dótt­ir and Ásta Katrín Helga­dótt­ir are proud after bringing in the gold in their category in Nice. Photo/Sent to mbl.is

Kristjana Hildur Gunn­ar­sdóttir was another Icelander who did very well in the World Cup, where she won the silver medal in the Pro 50-54 age group. She was introduced to Hyrox in 2021 and got Helgadóttir and Gísladóttir to compete with her at their first tournament a year later in Birmingham. Since then, they’ve had a real passion for the sport, but the goal was always to get to the World Cup. The passion has spread, but more and more Icelanders are now interested in the sport.

“This season, 2023-2024, 175 thousand competitors were registered in all competition categories around the world and it is predicted that this number will increase to 425-450 thousand competitors in the next season, where it is expected that 85 competitions will be held,” Gunnarsdóttir says.

By comparison, 332 thousand competitors were registered at the Cross-Fit Open in 2023 across the globe.

“Hyrox is getting bigger than Crossfit,” Gunnarsdóttir says.

The Icelandic group in Nice: Jó­hanna Júlía Júlí­us­dótt­ir, Árdís Lára …

The Icelandic group in Nice: Jó­hanna Júlía Júlí­us­dótt­ir, Árdís Lára Gísla­dótt­ir, Sig­ur­jón Ern­ir Sturlu­son, Ásta Katrín Helga­dótt­ir. Photo/Sent to mbl.is

There were more competitors in the Icelandic team in Nice, including Jó­hanna Júlía Júlí­us­dóttir and Sigur­jón Ernir Sturlu­son, who were competing in Hyrox for the first time, but showed that they are truly at home with the best.

Gísladóttir and Helgadóttir say that the mood in the Icelandic team was amazing and the Icelandic spirit of fighting quickly began to spread across the whole sports hall, which started to encourage them in the final stages.

“The mood at the Icelandic group was completely amazing. We had Icelandic supporters at every station who helped us to get through it all, then the whole academy was coming along with them. After the competition, there were so many young people all over the world who have been encouraging us, they were constantly praising us and wanted to talk to us,” Helgadóttir says.

The queens of Hyrox described a difficult situation on a day of competition, when the Sports Hall was extremely warm, but they did not let that stop them.

Gísladóttir and Helgadóttir getting the gold prize at the Hyrox …

Gísladóttir and Helgadóttir getting the gold prize at the Hyrox World Cup 2024. Photo/Sent to mbl.is

“I admit that I was quite stressed, but we took a good warm-up outside the building. The Sports Hall was packed with and the energy was high. It was extremely warm, but we didn’t let it stop us. After the warm-up, we were calm and ready to do our best,” Gísladóttir says.

Gísladóttir and Helgadóttir say they are planning to return to the World Cup next year. They will continue to support each other and train at Sporthúsið in Reykjanes with their training group, which calls itself The Fabulous Five, and they say that they are glad that the group is growing.

“You can do whatever you want, and keeping your eye on the gold prize means so much because if you really want something, you have to be able to visualize it for yourself,” Gísladóttir says.

The coveted gold prize.

The coveted gold prize. Photo/Sent to mbl.is

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